Witten had a 15-year career with the Cowboys and hangs up his cleats having broke the record for most consecutive games played by a tight end.
"After much self-reflection, prayer and faith, today I have decided the time has come for me to pass the torch and retire", Witten said. He made 11 Pro Bowls, and his 1,152 receptions ranks fourth all-time behind wide receivers Jerry Rice and Larry Fitzgerald and fellow tight end Tony Gonzalez. Tony Gonzalez, Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Gates always drew the headlines for tight ends during Witten's time, nearly forgetting the greatness that was taking place in Dallas.
According to the ESPN report, Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said Witten is one of the five best people he's known in the league. He played 15 games his rookie season, missing one game with a broken jaw, and finished with 35 catches for 347 yards. Last year, Romo had lost his job to Dak Prescott while injured and was deciding whether to continue his career with another team.
The Dallas Cowboys knew it was coming. In the meantime, let's celebrate Witten-the player and person.
Jason Witten is ending his N.F.L. playing career after more games as a Dallas Cowboy than any other player.
Former quarterbacks Troy Aikman (FOX) and Tony Romo (CBS) are the lead analysts at their respective networks, and former fullback Daryl Johnston calls games on FOX as well. Pictured: Jason Witten #82 of the Dallas Cowboys stands on the field during warmups before the game against the Los Angeles Rams at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Oct. 1, 2017.More news: Timeline: Severe Weather Wednesday In Oklahoma
But Witten played in an era when the Cowboys had more playoff disappointments than successes.
The news on the second day of the draft could affect Dallas' plans just a week after Witten suggested he might play until he was 40 and meant to return this coming season. Bryant wanted to stay in the NFC East Division to torment the Cowboys but it doesn't appear the interest is reciprocated.Bryant, who shares an agent with Giants' first-round pick Saquon Barkley, reportedly turned down an offer from the Ravens.
A literal fixture of the team, Witten's departure is the latest of a rapidly changing and different Cowboys team. We had a lot of talks through the years, a lot of talks the last couple of weeks. "He also told me those things are going to require a few more days of consideration, at least through the weekend".
For Witten, the opportunity to follow in those footsteps became an easier decision than chasing a Super Bowl for another season.
The flawless example came during the fourth quarter of a November 4, 2007 game against the Philadelphia Eagles.